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Definitions (472)

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Molecular velocity


The average speed of the molecules in a gas of a given temperature.
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Solar maximum


The midpoint in the solar cycle where the amount of sunspot activity and the output of cosmic particles and solar radiation is highest.
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Nuclear transformation


The process by which an atomic nucleus is transformed into another type of atomic nucleus. For example, by removing an alpha particle from the nucleus, the element radium is transformed into the eleme [..]
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Solar minimum


The beginning and the end of a sunspot cycle when only a few sunspots are usually observed, and the output of particles and radiation is normal.
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Altitude-azimuth


A type of telescope mounting that supports the weight of the telescope and allows it to move in two directions to locate a specific target. One axis of support is vertical (called the altitude) and al [..]
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Infrared telescope


An instrument that collects the infrared radiation emitted by celestial objects. There are several Earth- and space-based infrared observatories. The Infrared Telescope Facility, an Earth-bound infrar [..]
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Primordial nucleosynthesis


Element building that occurred in the early universe when the nuclei of primordial matter collided and fused with one another. Most of the helium in the universe was created by this process.
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Milky Way galaxy


The Milky Way, a spiral galaxy, is the home of Earth. The Milky Way contains more than 100 billion stars and has a diameter of 100,000 light-years.
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Gigabyte


A measure of computer data storage capacity equal to approximately a billion bytes. In computer language, a byte of information represents a letter or digit. So, a billion bytes is equal to a billion [..]
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Radioactivity


The spontaneous decay of certain rare, unstable, atomic nuclei into more stable atomic nuclei. A natural by-product of this process is the release of energy.
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